What is a Genetic Counselor?
Genetic counselors are healthcare professionals with specialized training in medical genetics and counseling. They can assume a variety of roles including (but not limited to) working as a member of a healthcare team to provide risk assessment, education, and support for individuals considering genetic testing as well as working within laboratories to help interpret and define genetic test results.
What is genetic counseling?
Genetic counseling is the process of helping individuals and families evaluate and understand potential genetic contributions to disease. Below are some examples where genetic counseling might be helpful:
- Analyzing personal and family histories to assess the likelihood of a potential inherited condition, as well as reviewing appropriate testing options.
- Discussing potential genetic testing options, including risks, benefits, and potential limitations.
- Understanding the implications from genetic test results for both the individual and family.
- Working with a patient’s healthcare providers to discuss future medical management options based on the genetic test results.
When is genetic counseling appropriate?
Genetic counseling can be helpful for patients and families whenever there is a suspicion of an inherited disorder in the family, and/or they are considering genetic testing. Below are several examples of genetic counseling specialty areas:
- Infertility Genetics
- Cancer Genetics
- Cardiovascular Genetics
- Cystic Fibrosis Genetics
- Fetal Intervention and Therapy Genetics
- Hematology Genetics
- Metabolic Genetics
- Pediatric Genetics
- Personalized Medicine Genetics
- Prenatal Genetics
- Post-Mortem Genetic
To find a genetic counselor near you, please visit the National Society of Genetic Counselor’s directory.